What is classroom flipping?
If you are new to the idea of the flipped classroom, what is usually done in the classroom is done as homework and what is usually done as homework is done in the classroom (essentially reversing the traditional way of instructional teaching). The benefit of this model is that the teacher spends less time teaching the theory and more time interacting with students (class time is used more effectively to tackle problems, challenge misconceptions and explore concepts in more detail).
There are many ways to facilitate classroom flipping. In this post I explore some of these ways and look at tips for getting the most out your flipped classroom.
1. Video Tutorials
Otherwise known as vodcasting, the most common way to flip your classroom is to use teacher created videos, which students can view outside of the classroom. There are several ways that you can share your videos with your students – probably the most popular being YouTube (www.youtube.com). If you’re not a fan of YouTube, or your school’s filtering policy does not allow you to access YouTube in your lessons, you can also use other video sharing sites such as SchoolTube (http://www.schooltube.com) and TeacherTube (http://www.teachertube.com). Alternatively, if your school has its own VLE, you can upload your videos directly to there! The added bonus of using video sharing sites such as YouTube is that videos can be grouped into playlists and embedded into any web based tools such as the school's VLE, wiki, blog or website. You can also add useful videos from other contributors to build your playlists. Students can follow the lecture for homework and use lesson time to explore concepts in more detail.
For examples of how you can use video tutorials to flip your science lessons, visit Mr Pollock's YouTube Channel: (http://www.youtube.com/user/MrPollockBiology)
A wiki allows groups of people to collaboratively develop websites with no prior knowledge or experience of website design. In the flipped classroom, a wiki can be used to host instructional videos and associated resources to introduce a concept or deliver a lesson. They can also be used for students to collaborate on a science topic or list the items they will need for a science experiment. Students can then update the wiki and summarize what they have learned. Free tools such as PBWorks (http://pbworks.com/education) and Wikispaces (http://www.wikispaces.com) are ideal for creating classroom wikis. Wikispaces Classroom builds on the collaborative editing features of a wiki but includes some additional functionality to support the flipped classroom, features such as social interaction and formative assessment. Teachers can also monitor how often a student has read, edited or saved a page.
To find out more about how to use wikis in your classroom, click here.
Wikis in Plain English
How wikis can be used to collaborate on a classroom project.
Podcasts provide a wonderful mechanism for allowing both teacher and students to share their work with a potentially huge audience. A podcast is like a radio show however, instead of being broadcast live, a podcast is pre-recorded and then distributed over the internet or to a mobile device allowing your students to listen to them when and where they please – on the bus ride home or even on toilet. There are plenty of ways to share your podcast, probably one of the most famous being iTunes however, another tool worth considering is Audioboom (audioboom.com).
Audioboom is a free social-podcasting environment. With Audioboo, students and teachers can create podcasts (or boos) which can be shared with other social teaching tools such as edmodo.
Probably the best example of using podcasts to support the teaching of Science are those by The Open University: http://audioboom.com/channel/openuniversityscience
Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCS for short, are lectures uploaded to the Internet. MOOCs are great for supporting the flipped classroom model however, they are not without their critics!
There has been much criticism about the effectiveness of MOOCS when used on their own and much debate over the quality of their content, however, if used correctly and supported by a classroom teacher, MOOCs can be a very powerful tool!
With popular programmes such as Udemy (http://www.udemy.com/), iTunesU (http://www.apple.com/education/ipad/itunes-u/) etc., students can learn the theory elements of the course outside the classroom (at their own pace) thus allowing the teacher to use classroom time for exploring concepts in more detail or supporting students with practical tasks.
https://www.class-central.com/subject/science - List of free Science online courses/MOOCs aggregated by Class Central.
What is a MOOC?
Thankfully, there is an abundance of tools to support the flipping of your classroom. Here are just a few of my favourites:
TES Teach with Blendspace (Formerly Blendspace)
This powerful web 2.0 tool allows you to organize and share content such as videos, images, documents and text using its intuitive drag and drop interface. The tool also allows you to create online lessons by embedding content from popular sites such as YouTube, Google, Vimeo, Flickr etc via its built-in search tool. You can also upload content from your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive.
TES Teach (https://www.tes.com/lessons) is ideal for flipping your classroom – students can research a topic at home and use lesson time more effectively. As a teacher you can monitor students progress and measure students understanding with the built-in quiz creation tool. You can even check to see if your students have actually viewed the resources you have shared with them.
Edmodo (edmodo.com) is a FREE 'Social Networking' environment for students, parents and teachers. It provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. In fact, many schools are ditching their VLE's in preference to edmodo. Teachers and students can post messages, discuss topics, assign and grade work. Edmodo also allows you to share digital content such as links, pictures, videos, documents etc., Edmodo is accessible online and from any mobile device via free smart phone applications making it an ideal tool for flipping your classroom.
Wikis are a great places for students to collaborate on projects. Wikispaces Classroom (wikispaces.com) builds on the collaborative editing features of a wiki but includes some additional functionality to support classroom use, features such as social interaction and formative assessment.
Courtesy of a free plugin for Office 2013 called Office Mix, you can now turn your PowerPoint presentations into interactive online lessons. With OfficeMix, you can record and share your presentations, embed apps and webpages and create interactive quizzes. To find out more, visit my previous blog post: Time to mix things up: Flip your classroom with Office Mix!
Office Mix is perfect for flipping your classroom – students can research a topic at home and use lesson time more effectively. With near-instant analytics, you can monitor students’ progress and see how well they do on your quizzes. You can even check to see if your students have actually viewed the resources you have shared with them and how long they spend on each slide.
My attempt at creating a lesson on the Water Cycle using Office Mix
Want more Science examples? Then why not check out the gallery: mix.office.com/gallery/category/science
Tips for flipping your classroom:
I'm not going to lie to you, flipping your classroom is not without it’s pitfalls however, get it right, and the results can be extremely rewarding. Here are some tips to help you along your way:
Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert / MIE Trainer
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